All Tapped Out

As much as I have enjoyed all of the social events that I have been to over the past month, I think I have well and truly exceeded my exhaustion limits for face to face socialisation. I am utterly drained and feel like I could spend an eternity alone and in silence. My mum always talks about how being around people and socialising energises her. It does the exact opposite to me. It completely drains my energy and it takes a lot of time to recharge.

I’m not sorry I’ve been out, not at all. I’m just going to be paying for it some time with emotional (and physical) exhaustion. I’m all tapped out and just need to be alone to rebuild my strength, and reset my conversational limits.

Am I just weird or does this make sense to someone?

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and hope the day is filled with plenty of joy, laughter and cherished moments with loved ones.

I’m doing pretty well at the moment. I had a session with my psychiatrist last Monday, and she’s happy with how I’m doing on the increased meds.

I’ve actually really made some progress over the last months in terms of dealing with my social anxiety – I’ve been to 2 Christmas parties through work, participated in my departments Kris Kringle – which involved an after work gathering. I also went to my team Christmas Breakfast. I’m very proud of myself for putting aside my anxieties and fears and making the effort to socialise.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read & comment on my blog since I began it in September. I really value the connections I have made, and actually experiencing the fact I am not alone in this world. It’s one thing to logically know that other people like me exist, it’s another to actually realise it.

Again I wish you a very safe & merry holiday season.  Much love to you all.

Picking Up Good Vibrations

I’m feeling a little bit loved today. A few of my colleagues at work were making a very impressive joint effort to get me to say yes to attending our works Christmas party next month. One of my teammates even said he’d give me a ride there and back! That is a big deal for an introvert like me.

A lot of my introversion stems from my severe lack of self esteem. I am constantly terrified that people don’t like me. Even at work though I get along with people, I have this part of me that still believes that none of them would really want to engage with me in a social situation. So because of this fear I tend to avoid social functions at work. Ironically, this probably makes people think I’m stuck up and not really want to socialise with me.

For people to genuinely try to convince me to come (not just a half hearted “oh you should go” and leave it at that) makes me actually want to go. And gives me warm feelings of actually being accepted. This is fantastic because my mind is evil to me and constantly gives me an irrational nagging worry that I’m only tolerated and not accepted.

The burning question now is – can I actually bite the bullet and make myself go?

I Went Out Last Night.

I haven’t been feeling so great lately. I’ve been in a bit of a depression, and haven’t wanted to do a whole lot. It’s been hard enough to get up and go to work the past two days. I’ve just wanted to be a hermit and sleep my life away.

But last night, I did something different. I went out to dinner. It was a sort of work function – one of the companies that my work partners with (they are underwriters for the general insurance we sell) wanted to thank us for meeting our sales targets over the past financial year. So they treated the insurance team (including a few people who are now in different departments) to a celebratory dinner. Normally, I would make up an excuse and avoid this kind of outing like the plague. Especially when feeling the way I’ve been feeling. However, I didn’t make up an excuse, not even at the last minute, not even when it meant sticking around town by myself for an hour & 1/2 after I’ve finished work, waiting for the rest of the team to finish so we could have this dinner.

I went. And I talked. I made conversation and I listened to conversation. I stayed until the end. And I even enjoyed myself! It was a very pleasant evening, and I am glad I went. I am very proud of myself for not avoiding this evening when it would have been so easy to just find an excuse not to go.

Sitting around a table with eleven other people in a social context isn’t usually a situation I am comfortable with. At work, even though we do chit chat a little between calls, it’s a very different experience to sitting around a table socialising. It’s difficult to explain, but when it’s work related I can deal because there are parameters for the conversations I have. There is a work context – I am conversing about work matters so it’s clear and straightforward. I have a purpose for speaking, I don’t have to try to maintain or participate in idle chatter. In work related conversation you know what the boundaries are – I don’t have to wonder if they’ll be bored with what I am saying, or whether they will laugh at my joke or think it stupid.

When it’s a social situation there aren’t those parameters – communication relies on organic flow of conversation. It is unscripted, and purposeless, and requires instantaneous reactions to words being spoken. Because I always have to think (or maybe overthink) things through – I can end up either making the conversation stilted and uncomfortable while I think of a response, or in a group situation I remain silent and possibly seem aloof or disinterested.

But last night, I muddled through. Mostly listening to everyone else but I did talk too! Of course me being me, today I need the entire day of solitude to unwind, gather my thoughts, reenergise, etc. So I am lucky I have today off work. But even though I am feeling wrung out, I have to say it was still worth it. I managed to relax a little bit and simply be, just for a moment.